Application of borehole geophysics in defining the wellhead protection area for a fractured crystalline bedrock aquifer

Log Analyst
By: , and 



Wellbore geophysical techniques were used to characterize fractures and flow in a bedrock aquifer at a site near Blackwater Brook in Dover, New Hampshire. The primary focus ofthis study was the development of a model to assist in evaluating the area surrounding a planned water supply well where contaminants introduced at the land surface might be induced to flow towards a pumping well. Well logs and geophysical surveys used in this study included lithologic logs based on examination of cuttings obtained during drilling; conventional caliper and natural gamma logs; video camera and acoustic televiewer surveys; highresolution vertical flow measurements under ambient conditions and during pumping; and borehole fluid conductivity logs obtained after the borehole fluid was replaced with deionized water. These surveys were used for several applications: 1) to define a conceptual model of aquifer structure to be used in groundwater exploration; 2) to estimate optimum locations for test and observation wells; and 3) to delineate a wellhead protection area (WHPA) for a planned water supply well. Integration of borehole data with surface geophysical and geological mapping data indicated that the study site lies along a northeast-trending intensely fractured contact zone between surface exposures of quartz monzonite and metasedimentary rocks. Four of five bedrock boreholes at the site were estimated to produce more than 150 gallons per minute (gpm) (568 L/min) of water during drilling. Aquifer testing and other investigations indicated that water flowed to the test well along fractures parallel to the northeast-trending contact zone and along other northeast and north-northwest-trending fractures. Statistical plots of fracture strikes showed frequency maxima in the same northeast and north-northwest directions, although additional maxima occurred in other directions. Flowmeter surveys and borehole fluid conductivity logging after fluid replacement were used to identify water-producing zones in the boreholes; fractures associated with inflow into boreholes showed a dominant northeast orientation. Borehole fluid conductivity logging after fluid replacement also gave profiles of such water-quality parameters as fluid electrical conductivity (FEC), pH, temperature, and oxidation-reduction potential, strengthening the interpretation of crossconnection of boreholes by certain fracture zones. The results of this study showed that the application of these borehole geophysical techniques at the Blackwater Brook site led to an improved understanding of such parameters as fracture location, attitude, flow direction and velocity, and water quality; all of which are important in the determination of a WHPA.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Application of borehole geophysics in defining the wellhead protection area for a fractured crystalline bedrock aquifer
Series title Log Analyst
Volume 34
Issue 1
Year Published 1993
Language English
Publisher Society of Petrophysicists and Well-Log Analysts
Contributing office(s) Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
Description 1 p.
First page 41
Last page 57